Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 by Angie Han
A little while back, Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and director Jonathan Frakes revealed that director Bryan Singer (X-Men) once had a pitch for a Star Trek television show that never came to fruition. Singer is a well-known Trek fan, and thanks to some string-pulling by X-Men and Star Trek star Patrick Stewart, has even appeared in an uncredited role on Star Trek: Nemesis.
Recently, more details have come to light about Singer’s failed Star Trek proposal. Read on after the jump to fantasize about what could’ve been.
According to an in-depth story over at TrekMovie, back in 2005, Singer was having dinner with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and director Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise) when the three of them got to talking about the idea of pitching a new Star Trek series to fill the gap left by Star Trek: Enterprise, which had just been cancelled. Burnett later brought on screenwriter Geoffrey Thorne (Leverage) to help create a 25-page series proposal outlining the show.
Some details about the proposed series:
- The series would have been titled Star Trek: Federation.
- Singer and his team had already commissioned a new logo, designed by Mike Okuda, which you can see above.
- Federation would have consisted of “more complex serialized stories” focusing on “compelling stories about our world today,” as opposed to standalone episodes dealing mainly with the Trek universe.
- It would have taken place in the year 3000 — several centuries after the existing Star Trek series, but within the same continuity.
- The Federation would be in a period of complacency and stagnancy, in a purposeful parallel to both the decline of the Roman Empire and the current state of the “American Empire.”
- The action would’ve kicked off when a new threat called “The Scourge” entered the picture, compelling the Federation to build a new USS Enterprise — the first in over 300 years.
- One of the central characters would’ve been Commander Alexander Kirk, an aggressive officer with a “checkered past” who was the sole survivor of a run-in with The Scourge.
Sadly, the pitch was never actually, well, pitched. The team finished the proposal in early 2006, planning to pick the project back up later in the year after Singer completed post-production on Superman Returns. But before they could actually present it, Paramount announced J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, and Singer and his team scrapped their plans.
I’ve never been hugely into Star Trek, myself, so I can’t say whether Singer’s vision of the series would appeal to real Trek fans. As a television viewer, though, I think this sounds great — rich, interesting and smart. The proposal in some ways reminds me of Battlestar Galactica, another excellent show that juggled large-scope political allegories and vivid, fleshed-out charcters. It’s a shame the proposal never actually went anywhere.
For a more in-depth look at Star Trek: Federation, check out both TrekMovie’s first post, which explains how the proposal came together, and the follow-up post, which offers more specifics about the series itself.
Discuss: What do you think of the Star Trek: Federation proposal? Would you have watched it?